Stewart has not played since round 16 last year after battling knee injuries while Matai has been absent since round nine with chronic neck and shoulder complaints.

Stewart and Matai have enjoyed glittering careers in the maroon and white which has seen the pair claim two premierships a piece.

Tom Trbojevic, who recently signed a multi-million dollar deal with the Northern Beaches club, is viewed as Manly’s long-term Fullback.

The 20-year-old said he hoped his childhood hero Stewart would return to the park in 2017.  

“I haven’t seen too much of Snake (Stewart) around, he’s had his problems with his knees,” Trbojevic told

“I think he’s looking to get them right and hopefully we’ll see him out there this year, (I’m) definitely hoping to see him back on the park.

“If Snake’s fully fit and ready, he’s our fullback, 100 per cent.

“What he’s done over the last 15 or so years, he’s represented Australia and NSW, he’s been one of the best fullbacks Manly’s ever had.

“There’s no competition if he’s fully fit, we all know how good he is. If he’s there and fit, he’s our fullback.”